Hydrotherapy Training

Level 3 Diploma Course in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

Approved by the Canine Hydrotherapy Association 

We are really impressed with the additions and style of qualification and are pleased to let you know that we will accept this new qualification as a part of the membership criteria for joining the CHA”.  

  • Open College Network West Midlands Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy Qualification Number: 603/4410/6
  • Level: 3
  • Credit Value: 44 credits
  • Guided Learning Hours: 326 hours
  • Total Qualification Time: 440 hours

Qualification Objective: This qualification has been developed to enable learners to develop the required knowledge to provide small animal hydrotherapy. 44 credits are required by students to gain their level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy. Students study the theory side  with access to support from their tutors.

The 6 day practical training and assessment takes place at Canine Health & Hydro which is nestled into 9 acres of the stunning Ribble Valley countryside, Lancashire. Next practical course dates –


Canine Health and Hydro have successfully rehabilitated thousands of canines and felines since they opened in 2012, our state of the art equipment includes two water treadmills, large indoor hydrotherapy pool, K Laser Cube 4 and physiotherapy suites making us one of the largest Canine Rehabilitation Centers in the UK.

This course is ran and presented by our team of highly qualified and experienced hydrotherapists, physiotherapists, K Laser therapists and vet nurses.

Learners will gain knowledge of the techniques involved in the provision of hydrotherapy and the assessment required before small animal hydrotherapy commences. They will gain knowledge of medical conditions and their impact on hydrotherapy treatment.

This qualification also develops learner’s knowledge around first aid, small animal behavior and professional practice management. There is a focus on Practical Aquatic Treadmill Therapy and advanced techniques. Learners will be able to conduct gait analysis and review patient performance, business, marketing and set up workshop also included.

This qualification can be used by learners to gain employment in the animal care sector or to set up and start your own hydrotherapy and rehabilitation business or progress to further study in the animal care sector and hydrotherapy qualifications.

Entry requirements: There are no specific entry requirements to access this qualification, with the exception of the minimum age for access to this qualification is 16 years. 

Mandatory units delivered –

An Introduction to Hydrotherapy

This unit is intended to provide learners with background information on hydrotherapy. They will understand what hydrotherapy is and various aspects involved in hydrotherapy from the properties of water to the equipment used. Learner will know the legislation related to the practice of hydrotherapy.  

Anatomy and Physiology of Small Animals

The unit aims to introduce anatomy and physiology to learners including body systems, tissue types and joint anatomy and physiology in small animals. This will assist understanding of the relationship between anatomy and physiology and providing hydrotherapy to the patient.  

Gait Analysis and Biomechanics

The aim of this unit is for learners to gain knowledge of gait patterns and relevant terminology, as well as posture and muscle contractions relevant to hydrotherapy treatment

Hydrotherapy and Related Conditions

The aim of this unit for learners to gain knowledge of the conditions that are commonly presented for hydrotherapy, to include medical, orthopaedic and neurological conditions. 

Introduction to Small Animal Massage

Learners will understand the benefits of small animal massage and the techniques used in small animal massage. They will understand the benefits of massage on common injuries. Learners will also understand the various forms of massage.  

Maintenance of Equipment and Water Balance

Learners will develop the knowledge to understand the importance of key aspects of maintenance in a hydrotherapy setting. This will include water testing and how to interpret results from water tests. 

Practical Administration of Hydrotherapy

Learners will explore the practical application of hydrotherapy from the initial assessment to preparation of the patient, to hydrotherapy treatment and aftercare. They will be able to conduct hydrotherapy pool sessions. Learners will be able to demonstrate skills in the practical administration of hydrotherapy. 

Practical Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Techniques

This unit provides learners with the knowledge, information and practical application of advanced aquatic treadmill techniques to adjust hydrotherapy treatment. Learners will be able to conduct a gait analysis and review patient performance. 

Practical Aquatic Treadmill Therapy 

This unit aims to give learners a practical skill set when using the aquatic treadmill. They will develop knowledge to understand factors affecting patients in the aquatic treadmill. They will be able to assess small animal patient for suitable and create a design plan.

Professional Practice Management 

The aim of this unit aims to demonstrate to learners the importance of Continual Professional Development and Professional Conduct within the workplace. Learners will develop knowledge of the roles and responsibilities within a hydrotherapy centre and the administration to be carried out.  

Small Animal Assessment for Hydrotherapy

This unit provides explores the veterinary referral process, assessment and health checking of small animals. It also looks at the various professional team members involved in treating a patients, and their suitability for hydrotherapy. 

Small Animal Behaviour  

Learners will understand small animal behaviour in relation to hydrotherapy. They will develop knowledge related to safe handling and understanding body language in small animals. 

Small Animal First Aid 

This unit looks at the aims of first aid, different types of emergency that the learner may come across in a hydrotherapy centre, and practical application of first aid techniques. 

Tissue Healing Processes  

Learners will develop knowledge of the tissue healing process, including factors that may affect this process, types of pain, and timing of hydrotherapy treatment.  

Extra Business set up, marketing & growth workshop

This workshop is an extra bonus session designed to help learners understand the pit falls and highs in business set up, the necessary and unnessary costs involved in marketing, websites, social media etc, getting vets and orthpaedic surgeons on side in order to build your fabulous new business, or gain the new employment position you are looking for.

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